United States asks airlines to observe new China air defence zone

30th Nov 2013
United States asks airlines to observe new China air defence zone

Officials in the United States have requested civilian aircraft observe a new air defence zone established over the East China Sea.

However, the US has also made clear this does not mean it now accepts requirements covering territory claimed by China, Japan, Taiwan and South Korea.

The dispute centres on a small group of disputed islands over which both China and Japan claim sovereignty.

China now expects all aircraft entering the zone to file flight plans and identify themselves.

The United States, Japan and South Korea have all flown military aircraft in zone unannounced.

China scrambled fighter jets on Friday.

Japan has also requested commercial airliners ignore the new requirements.

However, a number of regional commercial airlines - including Singapore Airlines, Qantas and Korean Air - have said they will comply.

A statement from the United States said: “Freedom of overflight and other internationally lawful uses of sea and airspace are essential to prosperity, stability, and security in the Pacific.

“We remain deeply concerned by China’s November 23rd declaration of an East China Sea Air Identification Zone.”


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